Lucy showed up with her signature maimed caudal fin looking fatter and healthier than ever before – superstitious Guadalupe departure – 28 SEPT 2010 – Captain's Log

Old mother ocean decided to take it easy on us last night and blessed us with one of the nicest crossings of the season to Guadalupe Island and our favourite great white sharks. After departing our slip in Ensenada 2 minutes into Saturday morning to avoid the bad karma of a Friday departure (Captain Mike is very firm on adhering to this old sailor superstition) , we had smooth seas for the entire 185 miles to Guadalupe Island. I can’t help but think that if we had left 3 minutes earlier on Friday night that transit would not have been so pleasant.
The good weather continued today for our first day in the cages with absolutely flat calm seas and the faintest whisper of a breeze under a gorgeous blue sky, perfect white shark diving weather! It seems the Great White Sharks agreed because they showed up first thing in the morning and put on a great show for us all day until the sun dipped below the top of Guadalupe island. On our first several dives in the suspended cages we had 2 – 3 Great Whites circling us, mostly staying slightly below us but on several occasions approaching from slightly above and eye level. These head-on approaches at eye level or slightly above are the money shots providing that beautiful contrast between the dark upper half and the bright white lower half of the shark, divided by that famous tooth-filled grin. At one point I was looking into the blue and suddenly saw two big white shark smiles swimming directly towards our cage, one slightly behind and to the side of the other, with each veering off in the opposite direction around our cage. Late in the morning some unknown conditions in the water must have changed, because suddenly there were no fish and no sharks. This happens from time to time, the current suddenly changes and maybe the visibility drops, and for some reason almost all life disappears from around the cages. Luckily this is a temporary condition and this time lasted for only a little over an hour. Suddenly a school of scad mackerel shows up, then a small school of smelts and when that happens we know the white sharks are not far behind. When they did come back this time they stayed and put on a great show for us for the rest of the day. On my last dive of the day as the sun was disappearing, one of our long time favorite females Lucy showed up, with her signature maimed caudal fin. She is a big female, around 6 meters, and looking fatter and healthier than ever before. She approached us with the confidence that most big females display, coming directly towards the cage as soon as she showed up and circling at a level slightly above the top of the cage and very very close. Standing on top of the cage with Lucy circling so closely and making continuous eye contact had me unconsciously stepping down the ladder slowly until only my shoulders and head were sticking out the top of the cage, never taking my eyes of her. Such an amazing feeling and my best dive of the day!
In all we identified 9 different individual sharks today, including another female Gracy, males Mau, Johnny, and the infamous Shredder aka Scar.
Three more days in the cages on this trip then off to San Benitos for some world class kelp and sealion diving!
Captain Gordon Kipp
Surface conditions – Seas very calm, winds light, clear skies, air temp 30C (89F)
Diving conditions – Visibility 60-70 ft, water temp 64F (18C)

By Nautilus Staff

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